Local resident releases investing guide with millennial daughters in mind


When Gene F. Lee began brainstorming titles for his 282-page, self-published book, he wanted to title it “The Investing Handbook for Millennials” because it was written with his two millennial-aged daughters in mind. However, one of his daughters quickly shot down the idea.

“When I told my daughter that, she said, ‘No. We millennials don’t like to be called out as millennials,’” the Los Altos resident said. “So I changed it.”

LAH resident readies nameless bar, prioritizes bonding over profit

The Amandine Project” width=
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos Hills resident Jean-Luc Kayigire is incorporating personal touches at his new bar, currently referred to as the Amandine Project, in the old Honcho space at 235 First St. The bar is in the soft-opening phase, enabling local residents to note the project’s progress.

Jean-Luc Kayigire came up with a code name for his new Los Altos cocktail bar while it serves as a pop-up with limited, spontaneous hours: the Amandine Project.

Until the old Honcho digs at 235 First St. are remodeled to Kayigire’s liking and he and his staff decide among three names floating around, that’s the only name that will be advertised.

Dream team buys Palo Alto's My Gym site, fulfills long-awaited business ambition

My Gym
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Juakila “Kiki” McConnell, left, and Los Altos resident Helen Vallaeys are the new owners of the My Gym franchise in Palo Alto in the Midtown Shopping Center on Middlefield Road. They acquired the business last month upon former owner Bob Yanofsky’s retirement.

It’s My Gym and it’s your gym, but now it’s also Helen’s gym and Kiki’s gym.

Los Altos mom Helen Vallaeys and her friend and longtime activities instructor Juakila “Kiki” McConnell are now the owners of the My Gym in the Midtown Shopping Center in Palo Alto after realizing their dream of keeping the children’s play center a growing space for families.

Goat your back: LAH yoga classes boast practice with a 'baaa-mazing' twist

Goat yoga
Eric Davidove/Town Crier
A student practices her balance as a Nigerian dwarf goat climbs on her back during the “downward dog” pose, below.

The phenomenon of goat yoga has arrived in Los Altos Hills.

Shanti Farm owner Pam Carlton’s first class of goat yoga – which involved Nigerian dwarf goats running around or standing on participants as they practiced the mind and body exercises – was held last week on her 1-acre homestead.

Tough as nails: New Los Altos salon owner triumphs over hardship

Gig Nguyen
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
The dream of Gigi Nguyen came true when clients encouraged her to open her own salon, The Nail Bar, in Loyola Corners.

Updated: April 10, 2 p.m.

After decades of hustling to make a living to support everyone’s needs but her own, Gigi Nguyen has settled in at what she calls her “baby,” The Nail Bar on Fremont Avenue in Los Altos’ Loyola Corners. 

Nguyen signed the lease for her first salon – which offers nail services, facials and waxing – last June after working as a nail technician downtown for 15 years. With support from her clients and fellow technicians Tanya Le, Susan Truong and T-Mai Nguyen, women whom she considers her sisters, she was convinced by her client and startup investor Jocelyn Goldfein that this was her opportunity to do something for herself.

Raising strong (business)women: How the Janes girls carried Cooks Junction through retail upheaval and back again


Courtesy of Katya Janes
Cooks Junction owner Linda Janes, center, and daughters Katya and Ilona are scheduled to host open houses at the Main Street shop Friday and Saturday to commemorate 35 years in business. “As her daughters ... we are proud of her small business first and foremost because it exists,” Katya said of her mother. “It exists because she did something incredibly brave; she chose to follow an idea, a dream, and got it on her own.”

Linda Janes, a woman once described in the Town Crier as a “prominent downtown Los Altos merchant,” and her daughters are spending this week celebrating 35 years in the cookware sales business. They invite local residents to come “toast and party” at their shop, Cooks Junction, noon to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Cooks Junction, located at 261 Main St., stocks approximately 5,000 kitchen items, ranging from classic silver pots and pans from Cuisinart to colorful fruit palm peelers from Chef’n. The store still sells the same food processor (albeit a different model) listed in its grand opening ad from 1984. Although Cooks Junction closed for two months in 2001 to undergo renovation, Janes’ business has survived multiple rounds of retail rotation in downtown Los Altos. She was not totally left unshaken, however, as she had to close her fine-china store, Janus, in 2009.


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